Monday, September 7, 2015

The Garden of Time: A Royal Visitation on Silken Wings

Everything changed perfectly
The moment arranged by those that came before
The cone flower petals fading like old cloth,
the last drops from some antique silken scrap of pink
color-drained, absorbed slowly, by time passing
The crumpled-plush leaves of aging foxglove, spires with their heads chopped off, a faded cathedral,
Spears of the daylily patch that has run through all its days,
browning, slipping groundward in the annual decline,
keeping time with the sun

A patient breeze, sure as a hand opening,
a finger gesturing to a change in the light,
A silent annunciation, angels of the hour
interrupting their conversation on res naturae
to speak in hushed tones of a gilded glow
of a morning concealed some hours behind the slackening
Returning now, polished, makeup freshened, nine a.m. blush 

It arrives, royalty, in a hurry from nowhere
in particular,
channeling the gold and the glimmer of morning sun
into the stained-glass windows of of its wings
the royal visitor, flitting its moment upon the stage
drawn like a lover to the tiny chalice of a still lively phlox
a quick kiss at a deep pink, a morning moue,
a bestowal of favor,
then a hop to another taller spike of the same, late-season specimen,
sampling the belles of the perennial ball,
the queen of the flowering retinue,
the same dip and sample, the hurried embrace,
the royal peck, the foreshortened audience
barely time to catch up, businesslike, in the end:
look, pal, what have you got for me?

Then, wings aflicker, some slight unsayable shimmer
Is there a boundary between accident and will?
Does a Monarch progress in the air
purely by whim
Does it plough the imperceptible currents of the breeze
by the moment's imprint
or as a wisp of breeze communicates a flutter in the Tao?
its flight delicate beyond imagination
less willful than a paper napkin puffed by the wind

Its royal progress paints a tail through the morning air
on a creature sketched by wings of tinted light
into the somewhere beyond, crimped by  
the first obstacle of the middle distance

Royal and insouciant
as if the world
were its
to command